The Nice Girls

The anti-choice movement has the fetus posters, the toddlers in the “My Mommy Chose Life” shirts, the Tim Tebows. On the left, we have anonymous girls who didn’t drop out of high school, who finished college, who were able to afford to feed their existing kids because they didn’t have to carry an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy to term. Each generation of young people, of young women, are further removed, historically and emotionally, from what Patricia Miller dubbed “The Worst of Times,” the pre-Roe calamities of perforated uteri and shame and infection and college roommates who didn’t make it (including Mitt Romney’s own cousin, dead at 21). Ellen Willis, for her part, refers to this time period, which was quite real in her memory, as “forced marriages, illegal abortions, virginity fetishism, sexual guilt and panic and disgrace.”

Hairpin pal (sister?!) Nicole Cliffe writes about Ellen Willis’s 1992 essay collection No More Nice Girls for Emily Gould and Ruth Curry’s cool new internet bookstore/bookclub, Emily Books. Join them!